Prom season - DatelineCarolina

How much dough will high school prom-goers dish out for the big day?

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Dazzles employee Alyssa Cumbee says the best part of her job is helping girls find the prom dress of their dreams. Dazzles employee Alyssa Cumbee says the best part of her job is helping girls find the prom dress of their dreams.
Dazzles offers a variety of prom gowns starting around $300. Dazzles offers a variety of prom gowns starting around $300.

By: Dawn Logg

Everyone is a princess at Dazzles Boutique of Columbia, especially during prom season. This is the busiest time of the year for the pageant and prom boutique. Alyssa Cumbee says the store started gearing up in the fall to accommodate a wide variety of customers.

"Our dresses, they start around $299 and go up, the bulk of our income that we make actually does come from prom season because of the high volume of people and it's very fast paced," Cumbee said.

Cumbee said Dazzles orders roughly 500 dresses to prepare for prom season, and most of those dresses arrive in January. She suggests young ladies searching for the perfect dress go shopping as early as possible so they have more dresses to choose from.

"We even get people from Georgia, and other states now that come shopping with us for prom," she said.

Cumbee said the 15-year-old pageant and prom boutique has drastically expanded its client base, and they get customers that travel from different states searching for dresses of all styles, with various price ranges.

"We had a girl come in and bought a fully beaded gown for like $2,000 for prom," she said.

The St. Louis Business Journal says the average family spends about $722 on prom expenses, but considering Cumbee's experience as a fashion consultant, some are willing to spend more.

Cumbee says Dazzles can sell up to 30 gowns a day. There is often a wait list with lines for the dressing rooms that can accumulate to up to eight people on the weekends. So she suggests going prom dress shopping on weekdays, and if possible, coming in earlier in the day before the afternoon rush.

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